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Elephant Rumblings: Brent Rooker, monster masher

MLB news roundup

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Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s have plenty of problems, but you can’t count Brent Rooker among them. He was already a bright spot in the batting order coming into this week’s series against the Angels, during which The Rook went positively supernova.

Rooker went a respectable-but-not-exceptional 4-for-15 in the four game series in Anaheim, but all four hits were for extra bases, and three of them left the yard. Throw in four bases on balls, and you’ve got something worth writing home about—or at least worth calling out here on AN.

26 games into the 2023 season, Rooker is on pace to hit 43 home runs; he leads the A’s with seven dingers and tops his squad in batting average, on base percentage, slugging, OPS, and RBIs, to boot.

  • Rooker, 2023: .305/.417/.695, 72 PA, 206 wRC+, 7 HR, 16.7% BB, 18.1% Ks

That’s exceptional performance for any hitter, let alone one who was claimed off waivers in February after being DFA’d by the Royals, who are in fierce competition with the A’s for the league’s worst record. Granted, Rooker’s bat will surely cool off to some degree at some point, but if the 28-year-old holds anywhere near this pace, his acquisition will be worth some serious bragging rights for the A’s front office.

Meanwhile, the A’s entered Thursday with a near-average wRC+ of 95, so it is clearly the team’s pitching—headlined by an ERA of 8.01—that is to blame for a wretched 5-21 record one month into the season. The White Sox have the second worst ERA in MLB with a mark of 5.75. I’m not going to dust off my statistics textbook and do the calculations, but I’d guess that puts A’s pitching at least two standard deviations below everyone else.

Anywho: keep mashing, Brent Rooker! And have a wonderful weekend, AN.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Rucinski’s return draws near.

Rooker denied Ohtani a record-setting streak.

Roster moves.

Medina’s debut enshrined in Anaheim.

Good stuff happening in Triple-A.

Kotsay to Medina.

Miller’s got the best stuff.

Sonny was my favorite A for a couple of years. And then it was Chapman. Then Murph.